Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Fear the Darkness - Fast Attack

by Anonymous Foodie

Not gonna lie, what really brought me around to the True Kin was the idea of an army where everything was able to move 24" a turn. An army of Raider-mounted warriors screaming across the battlefield with unmatched speed and maneuverability (even though both are matched and even outclassed at times... go figure). Still, the concept remains true, and while we may not be the flat-out fastest (here's looking at you, Star Engines) we can still do "silly amounts of fast" more efficiently than any other army out there.

Of course, not everything has to jump in a Raider to zip about with such gusto - while our Fast Attack units aren't really any faster than anything else, they have it built in. And when the bolter is a threat to a Raider's paper-thin armor, this can definitely be a good thing.

Surprisingly enough, for an army that excels at speed, we have only two actual Fast Attack choices, both of which being Wych-style units.


Bikes (or in the case of Eldar, Jetbikes) are common enough in most armies (at least in theory). A boost to toughness, turbo-boosting for last-minute objective contesting (or holding if you can get them as Troops)... a squad or two can generally find a place in a list, and sometimes even form the brunt of the force. Though the age is showing a bit in the Reaver rules, they've still got a few tricks up their sleeve.

Originally the sole-owners of the Turbo Boost rule (making them the fastest bikes in the game) they now share it with... oh... everything. But it happens, and really is the least of my worries when it comes to these guys. Let's start positive, though, and go over the perks.

Reavers not only increase the toughness of the rider, but give an equivalent strength bonus as well (all those spikes are good for something). They also benefit from the same combat drug rules as your standard Wych squads (in fact, all Wych units do). They can also tote along a pair of specialty assault weapons (either Blasters or Shredders) for a relatively cheap pricetag.

There are downsides though...

As far as bikes go, they're lightly armored, clocking in with a 4+. Not terrible, and good for Dark Eldar, but it is what it is.
They're the only bike without a twin-linked weapon. Considering that Wyches are assault-based units, you may not think much of this until...
They're rockin' out with only one attack. The latest FAQ allows them to use two weapons (or rather, does not specifically disallow it anymore), but they still only have a pistol. This does help the Succubus (S5 power weapon when armed with a Punisher), but to really be a solid assault unit you're banking on a good drug roll.

They can function, as mentioned, as an assault unit, using their higher Strength, Toughness, and Save to act as the Dark Eldar's version of Marines, but they really need the more potent drug options (about a 50/50 chance) to really do any damage.
Another tactic is to run a small squad with a pair of blasters (under 100 points if you go as bare bones as possible) to go tank-hunting. Easier to use, but still easy to watch it go crashing down in flames before it accomplishes anything.

Another 'Vet use only' tag on this unit, in the end.


Essentially our jetpack troops, but instead of some crazy bulky jet engine strapped to our back, we have green goblin-style gliders. I'm not complaining. In fact, I really like the models. Sadly we're stuck with only 3 different poses, but that can be enough with (or without) some paint tricks for a moderately sized squad.

Sadly, I have little good to say about these guys. Armed with a Hellglaive, they have a thinned down version of Furious Assault (+1S on the charge). Of course, with the base Wych Initiative of 6 I'm not about to complain. My main problem with them is that we're faced with yet another CC-centric unit with only 1 attack.

The 'glaive is also a splinter rifle, which back in the day still had some utility. Hellions were effectively a line breaker unit - jump up, shoot a bit, then assault (again hopefully with some of the more damaging drugs in effect), then use Hit and Run to jump back. Combined with a 5+ jink save (so long as they've been moving), they were an interesting unit.

I really like the idea, and with a slightly cheaper price tag and an assault weapon they could fulfill that role quite nicely... but until we get an update, these guys are sitting on the shelves.

At least they've given us the Skyboard - available to our IC's (yeah, we have a stock armory, wanna fight about it?) this is the sole way of increasing our armor save beyond a 5+. Not only does the board better your armor by 1, but it also grants the same jink save to any character riding it. Nice for a secondary HQ who didn't grab the Shadowfield quick enough, Combat Patrol rules, or just general "I need something cheap that'll still stab a thing or two".


  1. The rumors are looking pretty solid for a DE codex this August.

  2. I'm dubious of that. Good series this is turning out to be though.


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